While helping our clients grow successful restaurants with our restaurant marketing system, we often come across the same mistakes. The reasons for these mistakes are varied: the restaurant owner hasn’t had the time to analyze the situation or deal with it; it seems like a good idea until you analyze it further; or the restaurant manager just doesn’t even see it anymore. Sometimes it just takes a pair of fresh eyes to see things anew. So here is a list of 25 restaurant startup tips, effectively your restaurant startup check list, to make sure you are avoiding any costly mistakes.
We suggest you systematically go through each of the items on this list and make sure you aren’t unwittingly committing any of these restaurant startup mistakes. If you are, then don’t worry, that means there is a lot of potential for improvement and growth in your restaurant business. If you come across any issues that you are not sure how to correct or don’t know how to move forward, then take heart, we will give you the assistance you need in the Win Win Restaurant Marketing System. Read on for the ultimate restaurant startup guide.
Restaurant startup tips and the 25 most common mistakes to address NOW
1. Not having a restaurant startup business plan or marketing strategy. You are in the restaurant business, so you need to spend the majority of your time and effort running the business like any other entrepreneur. Get out of the kitchen, stop waiting tables and run your business.
- 2. Having no vision, with no measurable time-sensitive goals or objectives for your restaurant startup. Just flying by the seat of your pants, blindly hoping that your restaurant startup will succeed.
- 3. Not having an excellent product. There is no substitute for a good offer. If you don’t offer something of value to your customer then eventually your business will fail. Better to do one thing very, very well, than many things mediocre.
- 4. Forgetting the Win Win Restaurant Marketing philosophy. Your customers, staff and partners must win in order for you to win.
- 5. Not knowing your restaurant customer, who they are, what they want, where to find them, how your business meets their needs. Having no empathy for customers.
- 6. Having no knowledge of what is unique and valued about your restaurant.
7. Failing on customer service and not treating your restaurant customer as your greatest asset.
- 8. Ignoring restaurant marketing. Not understanding the vital role that restaurant marketing plays and educating your entire staff around the importance and basics of restaurant marketing.
- 9. Not investing in restaurant marketing and understanding that how much income is made is directly related to how much budget is spent on marketing.
10. Assigning a restaurant marketing budget, but not attaching metrics. Having little idea of what is working and spending good money after bad. Not managing the budget on an ongoing basis so you can spend more money where the marketing is working.
11. Carrying out copy-cat marketing.
12. Using effective restaurant advertising, with no call to action, no metrics and no focus. This is a restaurant startup cost that has to provide a ROI
13. Focusing on only one method of marketing. Successful restaurant startups use 10, 15, even 20 different restaurant marketing methods.
14. Spending too much of the restaurant marketing budget trying to get new customers and not leveraging existing customers.
15. Not collecting customer data and using it for insight and continual restaurant marketing.
16. Too broad of an approach at trying to get new restaurant customers, forgetting to target all approaches very finely.
17. Having no, or inferior restaurant marketing materials or ones that don’t speak quickly and succinctly about the restaurant. Marketing materials that talk about the product and the company, but not the customer’s issues or a solution. Not using storytelling and not imagining being in the customer’s shoes, not painting a picture of what it will look like for the customer when they are in your establishment.
18. Not using the Internet and not understanding how to best leverage new technologies as a competitive edge.
19. Overlooking new restaurant business models and not listening to the market for expansion ideas, new revenue streams and ways to serve customers better.
20. Forgetting the power of restaurant referrals both positive and negative word of mouth.
21. Not communicating with lost or unhappy restaurant customers.
22. Not understanding what makes you successful and then doing more of whatever that is.
23. Being complacent.
24. Being negative.
25. Not having a restaurant business mentor, being involved in the community, reading restaurant industry journals or joining support organizations and associations.
So now that you have this list of restaurant startup tips and the mistakes you should be avoiding, download our how to open a restaurant checklist and find help for how to turn these around and a ton of other resources within the Win Win Restaurant Marketing Library.